Peptic Ulcer and CAM?


Peptic ulcer 600.jpg

 What is a peptic ulcer? 

An ulcer that appears in the first part of the small intestine is called a peptic ulcer.

In more severe cases, an open wound is the result of the lining of the stomach, the tissue underneath and sometimes the muscle being eroded.

It can take around eight to twelve weeks for them to heal with the right care and attention and there is much you can do to alleviate the symptoms. 


What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms start anytime between 45 to 60 minutes after eating and include a burning sensation in the stomach. 

Many have lower back pain, some may vomit or at the very least feel nauseous and many experience a choking sensation.  Ulcers can bleed and cause the individual to wake in the night. 

If you think you have a peptic ulcer you should visit a doctor for confirmation. 


What causes peptic ulcers?  

The ulcer comes about because the acids in the stomach start burning the stomach itself. 

The stomach is lined with a mucous that protects it from the acid but some do not have the protective mucous lining, or the acid is too strong and burns through it.

As stress leads to increased acid production, it is known that stress also plays a major part in this condition. 



The following information does not constitute a prescription or recommended dose— studies have been conducted using the dosages stated and are included for your information only.

The nutrients mentioned here are often recommended by Health -Care practitioners


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DON’T EAT: Research suggests that sugar increases the acidity of the stomach1 and salt acts as an irritant2.  Other foods that increase acidity are coffee3 (including decaf 4) aspirin5, alcohol6, tea7, fried or spicy foods, chocolate, animal fats or carbonated drinks. Drinking cows milk was often suggested to those with ulcers but latest finding show that once the milk has neutralised the stomach acid, for some reason it then goes on to stimulate the body into making more acid. 


EAT:  Two pints of cabbage juice is the recommended amount you have to drink for the treatment of stomach ulcers and you have to drink it for 10 to 14 days  8,9,10,11.  Try adding carrot juice in order to make it more palatable. Foods high in vitamin K like white rice, cottage cheese, goat’s milk, and any dark, green leafy vegetables should also be included in your diet.    

Soft foods such as avocado pears, bananas, yams and sweet potatoes will put less pressure on the digestive system.  Organic baby food as it is easily digested and contains no chemicals and is an option if you are in real pain and the ulcer is bleeding. 


BANANA POWDER Ayurvedic doctors have used dried banana powder for years in the treatment of ulcers, as studies have shown it protects the lining of the stomach in animals, leading us to believe that it could be of benefit to humans12.  

Take two capsules 4 times a day for 8 weeks13. 



VITAMIN A helps heal mucosal tissue; the tissue that lines the stomach and the intestines and when used in very high dosages it was found to be very effective in the treatment of stomach ulcers14.   It is, however, toxic when used in high doses and expert advice needs to be sought. Pregnant women should be especially careful. 


ZINC (combined with acexamic acid was found to be of great benefit to those with peptic ulcers. 15

Take 25 - 50 mg of zinc per day and between 1- 3 mg of copper.  Because it is needed in the repair of damaged tissues zinc is suggested as a treatment for peptic ulcers16, although in this trial a much higher amount of zinc was taken than is normally recommended by a nutritionally oriented doctor. 


VITAMIN E helps promote healing and reduces stomach acid.  

Take 400-800 IU daily.


PECTIN Creates a soothing protective coating in the stomach. 

Take as directed on the label.


L- GLUTAMINE Important in the healing of peptic ulcers. 

Take on an empty stomach with juice or water 500 mg a day. 



LIQUORICE there is a substance called mucin that is found in the stomach and duodenum which protects the lining against stomach acid.  Research shows that liquorice root increases the production of this chemical within the body 17 Not every trial has reported its worth in the treatment of peptic ulcers though 18.  The most positive trials used chewable tablets which seemed to yield better results 19.  

Take 1 to 2 chewable tablets 15 minutes before meals and 1 to 2 hours before bedtime take another 1 to 2.  


The herbs mentioned here have historically been considered beneficial in the treatment of various conditions including peptic ulcer. Therefore, these, and previously mentioned herbs are often recommended by Health-Care practitioners.


Both MARSHMALLOW root and SLIPPERY ELM herbs soothe irritated mucous membranes, so too does CHAMOMILE tea.

Drink 3-4 times a day.


ALOE VERA Drink 4 ounces of aloe vera juice everyday, as it aids in pain relief and speeds up healing.  Be sure to buy aloe vera juice that is of a high enough quality to consume.



Do not smoke as smokers appear to be more susceptible to ulcers and their ulcers take much longer to heal than non-smokers20.  Avoid taking antacids as they may contain aluminium and this metal has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease.


Food allergies can trigger reactions in the body 21 so avoid subjecting your stomach to foods it is allergic to as this can lead to bleeding22. 


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1. Yudkin J. Eating and ulcers. BMJ Feb 16, 1980:483 [letter].
2. Sonnenberg A. Dietary salt and gastric ulcer. Gut 1986;27:1138–42.

3. Cohen S, Booth GH Jr. Gastric acid secretion and lower-esophageal-sphincter pressure in response to coffee and caffeine. N Engl J Med 1975;293:897–99.
4. Feldman EJ, Isenberg JI, Grossman MI. Gastric acid and gastrin response to decaffeinated coffee and a peptone meal. JAMA 1981;246:248–50.
5. Allison MC, Howatson AG, Caroline MG, et al. Gastrointestinal damage associated with the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. N Engl J Med 1992;327:749–54.
6. Lenz HJ, Ferrari-Taylor J, Isenberg JI. Wine and five percent ethanol are potent stimulants of gastric acid secretion in humans. Gastroenterology 1983;85:1082–87.
7. Dubey P, Sundram KR, Nundy S. Effect of tea on gastric acid secretion. Dig Dis Sci 1984;29:202–6.
8. Cheney G. Rapid healing of peptic ulcers in patients receiving fresh cabbage juice. Cal Med 1949;70:10.
9. Doll R, Pygott F. Clinical trial of Robaden and of cabbage juice in the treatment of gastric ulcer. Lancet 1954;ii:1200.
10. Thaly H. A new therapy of peptic ulcer: The anti-ulcer factor of cabbage. Gaz Med Fr 1965;72:1992–93.
11. Dunaevskii GA, Migonova DK, Rozka IM, Chibisova SM. Value of preserved juice of white cabbage in the complex therapy of peptic ulcer. Vopr Pitan 1970;29:29–33.
12. Hills BA, Kirwood CA. Surfactant approach to the gastric mucosal barrier: Protection of rats by banana even when acidified. Gastroenterology 1989;97:294–303.
13. Sikka KK, Singhai CM, Vajpcyi GN. Efficacy of dried raw banana powder in the healing of peptic ulcer. J Assoc Phys India 1988;36(1):65 [abstr].
14. Patty I, Benedek S, Deak G, et al. Controlled trial of vitamin A therapy in gastric ulcer. Lancet 1982;ii:876 [letter].
15. Jimenez E, Bosch F, Galmes JL, Banos JE. Meta-analysis of efficacy of zinc acexamate in peptic ulcer. Digestion 1992;51:18–26.
16. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;2:793.
17. Goso Y, Ogata Y, Ishihara K, Hotta K. Effects of traditional herbal medicine on gastric mucin against ethanol-induced gastric injury in rats. Comp Biochem Physiol 1996; 113C:17–21.
18. Bardhan KD, Cumberland DC, Dixon RA, Holdsworth CD. Clinical trial of deglycyrrhizinised liquorice in gastric ulcer. Gut 1978;19:779–82.
19. Gaby AR. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice treatment of peptic ulcer. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1988;July:306 [editorial/review].
20. Korman MG, Hansky J, Eaves ER, Schmidt GT. Influence of cigarette smoking on healing and relapse in duodenal ulcer disease. Gastroenterology 1983;85:871–74.
21. Kern RA, Stewart G. Allergy in duodenal ulcer: incidence and significance of food hypersensitivities as observed in 32 patients. J Allergy 1931;3:51.
22. Reimann HJ, Lewin J. Gastric mucosal reactions in patients with food allergy. Am J Gastroenterol 1988;83:1212– 


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